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Written by: Stuart Steele

Waste bins, refuse and waste areas are located in many places- namely houses, offices, office parks, residential complexes, retail centres, restaurants and hospitals to name a few.

To answer the question above in who should keep their waste areas clean, the simple answer is all of the above, even houses.

The four main pests that are associated with waste areas and rubbish bins are:

  1. Flies
  2. Cockroaches
  3. Rats and mice
  4. Ants

Now all of these pests have the ability to transmit various pathogens, viruses, germs and diseases notably if they have been in contact with the waste areas, which can be transmitted via these pests to places you may like to eat at, your office, restaurants, your home or in a complex you may live in. The most commonly seen pest and the biggest culprit and most frequently seen are flies, which transmit a host of pathogens and diseases from all the filthy areas they land on.

In the pest control field, we look at pest control services from an integrated pest management point of view, simplified as IPM.

Integrated pest management is a modern approach to pest control based on an environmentally aware basis, rather than simply treating an entire area for pest problems or even when they occur. Proper IPM programs take a more preventive approach in identifying the reasons why the pests are infesting the property and where are they coming from in the case of a waste area?

In most cases, it’s because the pests can find food, water and shelter in refuse and waste areas. The approach is to prevent and eliminate those conditions wherever possible. This proactive, ongoing approach helps reduce the need for excessive pesticides and reactive treatments.

IPM deploy physical, mechanical and non-evasive and registered pyrethroid based chemical solutions to prevent and manage pest infestations. Gels, baits and mechanical traps are the preferred method of treatment, with chemical spray treatments being a last resort in an IPM program through an ongoing cycle of inspection, removing pest-friendly conditions, pest monitoring and documenting pest control services as well as any pest activity.

How does waste bins affect pests?

Waste management practices on a large or small scale goes a long way in preventing or maintaining and limiting pest activity, especially when it comes to fly, cockroach and rodent control.

Pests require water, food and shelter in order to survive as mentioned above, and all waste areas provide all three of these elements for their survival, breeding and thus creating an environment for infestation once pests have the access and ability to do so, which could result in having pest outbreaks on your property.

How often should bins be cleaned?

Depending on your industry your business is in, or if you are a homeowner- good housekeeping practices and effective proofing is a priority in and around the refuse or bin areas, which is ensuring first and foremost that your waste bins or skip bins are replaced or cleaned regularly. This varies from industry to industry, and the frequency of the bin emptying and cleaning, of which can range from daily practice to weekly practice. Industries that have skip waste bins may need their large bins collected daily, twice per week, weekly and so on, but ensuring the bins are kept clean, and the area around it clean and clutter-free is vital.

Waste bins and wheelie bins need to have lids that close properly, and bins need to have waste discarded on a regular basis to prevent all 4 pests mentioned above from being attracted to the bins. The interior of the bins and exterior must be kept clean, this includes being disinfected after being rinsed out to assist in keeping pests out of them.

Waste areas should also be in an enclosed area and kept clean, that is an area away from one’s home or building. Bins or open waste areas that are in the sun and in the open will attract pests like flies and rodents and is not recommended, whereas if they are kept in a dedicated sheltered waste bin refuse area, that the room is maintained clean and dry, all or any possible holes or entry points pests may find their way in are sealed off, as to prevent pest entry is critical.

What pest control measures are taken?

The first step is an inspection, then identification of the pests and the possible risks associated with pest entry. The next steps are recommendations for the client in terms of housekeeping, proofing and stacking (this actually falls part and parcel of our service recommendations).

The following step is deciding what method of treatment is needed? We provide an array of preventative treatments against flies, rodents, ants and cockroaches, which includes baits, sprays, fly traps, electronic fly units, rodent tamper-proof bait stations for monitoring and control purposes, as well as various spray applications to control and prevent flies, cockroaches and ants in and around these key high-risk waste areas.

Flies are naturally drawn to the scent of any food waste, and can easily breed in any damp areas around waste areas or in wet waste, and are the most common pest you are likely to find that could transmit a harmful pathogen or disease. Flies are controlled by traps, electronic flycatchers, fly baits or residual sprays.

Ants are attracted to moisture and any foodstuff, so they are very commonly seen in waste or refuse areas. Ants too can carry various pathogens or diseases by the areas they walk over in their trails and nests and can pose a health risk to cross-contamination to human food consumption. Ants are controlled by either applying ant gel bait, dry granular bait to their nests, or an approach of a residual spray to their nests or trails would be done.

Rats and mice need food, water and harborage and nesting sites to survive, live and breed, and can have a nest very close to a food source in the way of a waste area. Rodents are also high-risk pests not just for harbouring and transmitting pathogens and disease, but they damage to stock and various items they come into contact with. Control measures include firstly the identification of the routes rodents are entering the area, providing recommendations for the proofing and housekeeping (where applicable). A rodent control program is then implanted for monitoring and controlling rodents with either mechanical snap traps, tamper proof rodent bait stations with toxic blocks or non-toxic blocks in the case of sensitive areas that do not permit the use of rodenticides.

Cockroaches also require food, water and harborage points to live and breed in. Waste areas, wheelie bins, skip bins and any area within a waste area where cockroaches can hide and feed provides ideal habitat for them. Cockroaches too transmit various pathogens, diseases and viruses and can easily cross-contaminate food sources, much like flies can.

Control methods include the inspection, identification of the cockroach species, and then the deployment of the service. The treatment involves using various formulations, including gel baits, aerosol flushing agents to flush cockroaches out of their harborage points, as well as applying residual spray applications to key areas in the environment that is getting treated. Cockroach monitoring traps can be used for monitoring purposes, but this is normally used indoors where they won’t get wet or damaged, so they could be used in a covered waste area where possible.

Read more on the different pests and their control on these links below:

Fly Control|
https://flickpest.co.za/fly-pest-control/

Ant control
https://flickpest.co.za/ant-pest-control/

Rodent control
https://flickpest.co.za/rodent-pest-control/

Cockroach control
https://flickpest.co.za/cockroach-pest-control/

If you do need further advice or assistance with your waste area and the pest management of it and would like a professional assessment done, please contact us today for a no-obligation free quote, and assessment by one of our trained sales representatives.

Remember “One Flick and They’re Gone”

Give us a ring on 087 056 1021, drop us an email at enquiries@flickpest.co.za or drop us a comment on our blog or social media platforms.

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